New Laws Target Domestic Violence, Electronic Cigarettes, and Beer

A raft of new laws take effect January 1 in New York State, addressing a range of issues from business contracts to the health care system.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

At times, people in abusive relationships avoid doctors and hospitals because they don't want their abuser to see their medical bills. A new law allows the victim to receive medical correspondence at an alternate address - like a friend's house, or a shelter.

ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

Smokeless e-cigarettes are increasingly popular, but the health risks are unclear because they haven't been studied much. It is now illegal to sell e-cigarettes to people under age 18.

GREEN ENERGY, CRAFT BREWERS, AND PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

Homeowners are already exempted from state taxes when they buy and install solar panels. Now the same tax privileges apply to businesses wishing to go green.

Following complaints by micro-brewers, the law has been relaxed to make it easier for them to break contracts with distributors.

State colleges and universities, which are burdened by rising healthcare costs, can now act as insurance providers to their enrolled students, thereby saving money.